In front of an absolutely packed room in Monterey, the gavel finally came down on RM Sotheby’s big sale this year—a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO—to the tune of $48.4M. Now officially the most expensive car ever sold at auction, 250 GTO chassis no. 3413 adds a new notch to its belt, alongside an illustrious racing history that included nine wins in 1962 and a run at the Targa Florio with famed driver Phil Hill behind the wheel.
The car has been owned since 2000 by respected collector and former Microsoft executive Dr. Greg Whitten, who paid $7M for it at the time.
Despite what was by all accounts an historic sale, there were nevertheless many in the room who lamented the car’s final hammer price of $44M given RM’s pre-sale estimate of $45M-$60M. And while you might say that 250 GTO no. 3413 could have gone higher if it was a true Series I car instead of a factory Series II re-body, that excuse also diminishes the significance that only four years ago another ‘62 GTO sold during Monterey Car Week for more than $10M less ($38.1M).
Successful of this 250 GTO, along with $20M-plus sales for the Duesenberg SSJ and Aston Martin DP215, points to a healthy market for the super-high-end cars crossing the block at Car Week. To nobody’s surprise, it’s still a really, really good time to be sitting pretty on a vintage Ferrari with a stout racing pedigree and confirmed provenance.
Even if 3413 didn’t blow people’s minds with a $60M sale price, there’s no doubt this is a special car of a caliber that only very rarely comes to public auction. And if the roar of the crowd didn’t convince the new owner that the Ferrari 250 GTO was a good buy, the sweet music of its V-12 should do the trick.